kemp press conference 1/8/21

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp gives a press conference about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on Jan. 8, 2021.

On Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed three executive orders loosening COVID-19 restrictions in the state, according to a press release from his office.

Executive Order 03.31.21.03 is the lengthiest of the three executive orders issued on Wednesday and is aimed at eliminating COVID-19 restrictions, which were previously implemented to slow the spread of the virus.

According to the press release, this measure will become effective April 8 and will be in place until at least April 30. It will eliminate the gatherings ban, the shelter-in-place requirements and reduce any remaining social distancing requirements, among other provisions.

The social distancing requirements were in effect to put “distance between parties at restaurants, bars and movie theaters, and between patrons of group fitness classes,” according to the press release. 

The executive order will also eliminate the ability for law enforcement to close organizations for failure to comply with certain COVID-19 guidelines, according to the release. 

Executive Order 03.31.21.02 extends current COVID-19 guidance, as provided by Executive Order 03.12.21.01, through April 7 and will allow for state agency employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine without having to use sick leave or annual leave, according to the press release.

Executive Order 03.31.21.01 extends Georgia’s public health state of emergency through April 30, 2021. The state of emergency was first enacted on March 14, 2020 and has since been renewed monthly 13 times, according to the legislation.